Last weekend, I woke up from my afternoon nap flushed and with a terrible, desperate feeling in my stomach. I had had a nightmare (daymare?). Nothing dramatic when you think about it. My helper had come up from taking Benji down to play and was in tears. Something had happened. Benji had thrown up all over himself.

A child throwing up is not a big deal. I took Benji from her calmly and proceeded to get a change of clothes, but inside (in the dream) my heart was fluttering. I knew something was very wrong because my helper was crying and she is not the type that panics easily.

Then I woke up, all hot and bothered.

And I realised in a flash that what matters the most in my life is my son and the baby inside me. There would have been a time before this when I would have said writing a novel, the freedom to go out to work, achieving something mattered as much. All this suddenly paled into insignificance. I would throw all this away in a second for my children.

I know a lot of people realize this before they have kids or the instant their kids are born. I felt this when Benji was born and then the feeling kind of faded. But it’s now a truth imbedded in my skin, not in the first flush of motherhood but calmly and knowingly.